Connacht Rugby have announced that Tom Daly, Peter Robb, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Shane Delahunt and Conor Kenny have all signed contract extensions with the province.
 
The signings come as a boost to Connacht as they continue to finalise their squad ahead of the 2020/21 season. Daly, Robb and Robertson-McCoy have all signed two-year extensions to keep them at the Sportsground until the end of the 2021/22 season, while Delahunt and Kenny have signed one-year extensions with the province.
 
Tom Daly joined Connacht in December 2018 and made his debut in the interprovincial derby with Munster in January 2019. In the 12 months since he has played over 20 times for Andy Friend’s side. Daly has previously been capped for Ireland at U20 level and is also a former captain of the Ireland Rugby 7s team.
 
Centre Peter Robb featured prominently in Connacht’s Guinness PRO12 winning season when he made 12 appearances throughout that campaign. The 25 year old has recovered from a number of recent injuries and has amassed 10 appearances so far this season.
 
Dominic Robertson-McCoy is now in his fourth season with Connacht. The New Zealand born Irish-qualified tighthead has made 50 appearances in the Connacht jersey – 16 of them coming in the current campaign.
 
Shane Delahunt joined Connacht through the Academy in 2014 and made his debut for the province in September of that year. The 26 year old also featured in Connacht’s Championship winning season in 2015/16 while still an academy player. He has a total of 74 appearances for Connacht.
 
Conor Kenny is another player to have come through the Connacht Academy, playing his club rugby with Buccaneers RFC and Connacht Schools with Garbally College where he won a Senior Cup medal in 2015. He has made 5 appearances in the Connacht senior side so far this season.
 
Commenting on the latest contract extensions, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “We are delighted to have Tom Daly, Peter Robb, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Shane Delahunt and Conor Kenny all signing contract extensions with Connacht. During our Champions Cup and PRO14 campaigns we have already seen the depth we need in the squad to perform on two fronts. We expect to have more announcements in the coming weeks as we are working to finalise our squad going into the 2020/21 season”.

Connacht 27

Gloucester 24 

A last minute try from Robin Copeland deep into injury time sent the Sportsground crowd wild and secured a win that looked unlikely when they trailed 13 points to Gloucester’s 24 with 4 minutes remaining. Connacht had dominated possession and territory throughout but some vital errors inside the opposition 22 looked like they would cost them the game.

When Shane Delahunt got over for Connacht’s second try with just three minutes on the clock the home side turned the momentum of the last 20 minutes. Copeland’s try came at the end of an extraordinary 20 phase sequence of play that saw Tom Daly offload to the replacement number 8 who ran in under the posts.

It was Connacht who had drawn first blood when outhalf Conor Fitzgerald kicked a penalty in the 14th minute. It was an important score for the 22 year old as Connacht had been reduced to 14 men when Eoin McKeon picked up a yellow card four minutes earlier. After a sustained period of pressure and a try already disallowed, Caolin Blade crawled over on the half hour mark. When Fitzgerald landed the conversion Connacht looked in control as they stood 10 points to the good.

That dominance was to be short lived though as Gerbrandt Grobler got in for a Gloucester try 2 minutes after Blade’s effort. While Connacht had another chance on the stroke of half time, the advantage remained 10-7 to the home side at the break.

Gloucester came out with a renewed enthusiasm in the second half and within five minutes were in front with a Mark Atkinson try which they failed to convert.

When Billy Twelvetrees got Gloucester’s third in the 66th minute, the away side were driving for a bonus point win. They didn’t have to wait long for the try and Atkinson was in again in the 69th minute. At this stage, with Gloucester winning 24 to 13, even the most optimistic Connacht supporters would have thought a win was almost impossible and even a losing bonus point was unlikely.

But the home side showed incredible belief and and when replacement hooker Delahunt got in, the momentum and the crowd were right behind Connacht.

Copeland’s try in injury time will be added to the many magical Sportsground moments that Connacht have witnessed in the Champions Cup. Their never say attitude tees them up nicely for the series of interpro fixtures over the Christmas period.

Munster at home are first in that trilogy – they come to the Sportsground on Saturday December 21st. Its expected to be another cracker!

Tickets available here.

Connacht Scorers:

Tries – C Blade, S Delahunt, R Copeland

Conversions – C Fitzgerald (3)

Penalties – C Fitzgerald (2)

Connacht: Jack Carty,  Niyi Adeolokun (Tom Daly),  Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, John Porch, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade ( Stephen Kerins), Peter McCabe (Denis Buckley), Dave Heffernan (Shane Delahunt), Dominic Robertson McCoy (Finlay Bealham), Ultan Dillane,  Joe Maksymiw (Niall Murray), Eoin McKeon (Eoghan Masterson), Jarrad Butler, Paul Boyle (Robin Copeland)

Russia 14-42 Connacht
 
Two almost identical tries from winger Stephen Fitzgerald set up a comfortable win over a Russian side playing their final World Cup warm up game before departing for Japan next week.
 
Russia were competitive for large parts of the game and found themselves within one converted try of Connacht with 68 minutes on the clock.
 
When Stephen Fitzgerald latched onto a Niyi Adeolokun kick ahead to touch down it looked like Connacht would pull away and when he repeated the trick four minutes later, the result was never in doubt.
 
Connacht had the perfect start to the game when Tom Farrell’s grubber kick was picked up by his midfield partner Tom Daly who ran in under the posts. Darragh Leader added the conversion and went on to convert all of Connacht’s six tries with a one hundred per-cent kicking success off the tee.
 
By half time Connacht had added a second try when Leader scored and converted Connacht’s second try. Russia did respond on the scoreboard when their fullback and captain Vasily Artemyev broke from the Connacht 22. With just seven points between the teams at half time, it seemed that Russia may be capable of causing an upset.
 
Connacht started the second half the way the started the first when Jonny Murphy was on the end of a strong maul. Russia responded again with a try in the 55th minute but it was all one way traffic from there to the finish.
 
Fitzgerald’s brace then ended the game as a contest as Paul Boyle scored Connacht’s sixth and final try with two minutes remaining.
 
Connacht Team (Replacements in brackets)
(15-9) Darragh Leader, John Porch (Niyi Adeolokun), Tom Farrell, Tom Daly, Stephen Fitzgerald, David Horwitz (Conor Fitzgerald), Angus Lloyd (Stephen Kerins), (1-8) Denis Buckley (Matthew Burke), Jonny Murphy (Tom McCartney), Dominic Robertson-McCoy (Conor Kenny), Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux (Ultan Dillane), Eoin McKeon (Eoghan Masterson), Paul Boyle, Robin Copeland (Jarrad Butler).
 

Connacht Rugby are delighted to announce that Tom Daly, Stephen Fitzgerald and Angus Lloyd have all signed contracts with the province ahead of 2019/20 season. The trio had all featured for Connacht on loan periods during the current campaign and have impressed Andy Friend and his coaching team.
 
Tom Daly joined Connacht in December 2018 and made his debut in the interprovincial derby with Munster at the start of January. The centre has since gone on to make six further appearances in a Connacht jersey, scoring a try against the Glasgow Warriors in February. Daly has previously been capped for Ireland at U20 level and is also a former captain of the Ireland Rugby 7s team.
 
Stephen Fitzgerald joins his brother Conor who signed his first professional contract with Connacht this week. Fitzgerald made his debut in the interprovincial win over Ulster at the end of 2018 and like Daly has featured seven times in total for the province, also scoring a try against Glasgow. At international level, the winger has featured for the Ireland U20s, representing his country at the 2015 World Under 20 Championship.
 
Angus Lloyd will return to Connacht have joined on a short-term contract in December 2018, providing injury cover at scrum-half and playing twice for the province in that time. He has previously been capped by Ulster and Munster in the Guinness PRO14.
 
Announcing the latest contracts, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said that all three signings were agreed after impressive loan periods during the season: “We are delighted with the contribution Tom, Stephen and Angus made to our squad during the current season. All three came into the squad at a time when we needed cover due to injuries and international call ups and all three have fitted in seamlessly to our squad. They are three important additions to our plans for next season. This is further good news on our squad having signed three players from our academy earlier in the week. I am happy with our recruitment programme so far for next season and we expect to make further announcements before our squad is finalised.

Connacht Rugby have announced the signing of centre Tom Daly on loan from Leinster until the end of the current season. The 25 year old centre has been part of the Leinster senior squad since 2016.
 
At international level, Daly has played for Ireland at Under 18 and 19 level and made his debut for the Ireland Under 20’s in the 2013 Six Nations Championship. He went on to earn six caps in the Under 20 Junior World Championship later that year.
 
Daly also captained the Ireland National Rugby sevens team and was part of the squad that played in the 2016 Rugby Sevens Final Olympic Qualification Tournament.
 
Announcing the signing, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “We are delighted to announce that Tom Daly will now be joining us on a loan deal until the end of the season to bolster our squad. Tom is powerful player who is capable of making a real contribution to our season and I’m sure he will integrate well into our existing squad.

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